By Lindah Kiddey
They flicked marbles in flinty mill races
Where green moss met the wetness of sedges
Running fast to such dangerous places
Legs grass-painted with sore gritted knees.
Bee stings and nettle bites iodine dyed
Purple-red daubs proof of valorous games
Signs of inventiveness zealously tried
In scuffed sandals and rip-ridden socks
The farmyard apple-scrump ladder espied
By stink bomb lobbers and worm magnifiers
Kids grown smarter with wild ventures vied
And memories sparking of days well played.
They might try you and cause consternation
But these kids have grown clever with intellects sharp
Deep-delving, researching a vaccine salvation
To stamp on this plague like a fledgling bare.
Lindah Kiddey: I had a writing career of over 40 years spanning organisational communications, writing and editing across many sectors, and magazine journalism.
I turned to poetry and creative prose in retirement!
Poetry is immersive. As a sociable and lively spirit, I needed something to keep me sane and smiling during lockdown.
The results have amused, confused, bemused and entertained my husband and son. Both have given splendid support and are, in turn, my most constructive critics!
Inspiration for ‘Players’
During the pandemic all media has relied, almost without exception, on the knowledge and expertise of well-regarded professionals.
These scientists, statisticians, and commentators were born largely in the 50s and 60s; many are my contemporaries.
We are the generation of wild, adventurous, outdoor play; TV has been the only screen to keep us seated for most of our lives.
Our guardians had fewer anxieties for our safety. We took advantage of this freedom, enriching our young, enquiring minds, scabbing our knees along the way.
Subsequent generations have taken less free paths to adulthood, governed increasingly by digital devices.